Dr. David Che Joins Vogel School of Engineering

The Vogel School of Engineering is pleased to welcome Dr. David Che as Chair and Professor of Engineering, beginning this fall.

Dr. Che worked in the industry for over ten years before beginning his full-time teaching career. He has since taught for 11 years in various Christian colleges in the Midwest. His research interests include metrology, robotics, automotive engineering, manufacturing engineering and quality control, mechanical design, and engineering education. He is currently a member of the American Society of Engineering Education, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Automotive Engineers and Christian Engineering Society.

In 1988, Dr. Che graduated from Harbin Institute of Technology (China) with a BSE degree in Precision Mechanical Engineering. He came to the US in 1990 and enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering program at Ohio State University. After obtaining his M.S. degree from OSU, he began his doctoral study at the S. M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center at University of Michigan. He then worked as a post-doc and a research investigator at University of Michigan for two years before joining the Global Research and Development Center of General Motor Corporation in Warren, Michigan in 1997. From 1999 to 2001, he worked as a senior project engineer in GM’s Competitive Operations Engineering Group. From 2002 to 2005, he worked in the Product Development division of GM Truck Group using modern engineering design and analysis tools to do full vehicle dynamic simulations and instrument panel and console design. From 2005 to 2008, he returned to his home country of China to live as a “tent-maker.” He worked in southern China for Stafast Products, Inc., a metal fastener and machinery supplier in Cleveland, Ohio, to develop new business ventures and supply to the furniture manufacturing industry in Asia.

Dr. Che has taught a broad range of courses over the years. These include:

  • Calling & Vocation (a.k.a. “learning and transition”, a freshmen seminar course)
  • Strength of materials
  • Statics
  • Dynamics
  • Mechanical vibrations
  • Machine component design
  • Computer Aided Engineering
  • Kinematics and robotics
  • Engineering economy
  • Digital systems
  • Senior design projects
  • Service engineering
  • Engineering ethics
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Engineering materials and processes
  • Quality control

Dr. Che is passionate about partnering with industry and local community and promoting service-learning wherever he goes. Many of his class and senior design projects were sponsored by the local industry and non-profit organizations. Examples include design and rapid prototyping of a new animal tagging device for medical research, SAE Baja competitions, additive manufacturing and optical scanning techniques and their application to mechanical design, hard-band spring design for Marcellus Shale drilling operations using ANSYS, therapeutic pool cover mechanism design, and noise reduction of a gym.

Dr. Che has been married to his wife Sarah for thirty years. The Lord has blessed them with five children, all homeschooled. In his spare time, he enjoys reading classical literature, writing, listening to classical music, playing tennis, table tennis, soccer, and watching college football.

Welcome to the Bryan College family, Dr. Che!


Faculty Friday: Dr. Zeb Balentine

September 14, 2018 – Bryan college welcomes Dr. Zeb Balentine as the new assistant professor of Christian ministry and worship arts and director of campus worship. Balentine earned a bachelor of arts in biblical studies and a minor in pastoral leadership from Central Baptist College in Conway, Ark. He later attended Liberty University where he earned a master of arts and a doctorate in worship studies.

Balentine is passionate about helping shape worshipers and worship leaders for God’s glory. His life was greatly impacted by his college professors. Balentine wanted to have that kind of impact on others, which led to his decision to pursue work in a college setting. The position and culture at Bryan College seemed to be the perfect fit for him.

In the upcoming year, Balentine is looking forward to getting to know and work closely with his students. He is also currently writing a book about worship leadership.

Balentine is originally from Warren, Ark. He and his wife, Michelle recently relocated to Dayton, Tenn., with their three children. Their youngest child was actually born in the car on the way to the hospital. Balentine jokes that he managed to live to tell about it.

Please join us in welcoming Balentine and his family to the Bryan College family. To learn more about Balentine’s experience, visit his faculty profile.


Faculty Friday: Dr. Jamie Summerville

September 7, 2018 – Bryan College welcomes Dr. Jamie Summerville as the new professor of mathematics. Summerville earned a bachelor of science in applied mathematics with an emphasis in computer science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky. He earned a master of science in mathematics from Murray State as well. Summerville completed his doctor of philosophy degree in mathematics at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.

Summerville began his career in higher education as a graduate teaching assistant at The University of Mississippi in 1993. He enjoys working with college students and college level mathematics, which led to many other roles in higher education. In 2004, Summerville was awarded the President’s Teaching Excellence Award at Mid-Continent University, where he served as the department of mathematics chair and later the dean of the Baptist College of Arts and Sciences. He was also part of the writing team for the accreditation Assurance Argument at Hannibal-LaGrange University in 2018.

Summerville loves working with others to see and discover the mathematics in our Father’s world. He is looking forward to working at Bryan College and meeting students who enjoy learning and giving their best. “There are many things that influenced my decision to want to work at Bryan College,” said Summerville. “The people I met, the academic programs, the emphasis on that all truth is in Christ, the emphasis on discipling, and the scenic area are among the top reasons.”

Summerville grew up in a variety of locations including Toledo, Ohio, Big Rapids, Mich., and Wingo, Ky. He was named the Most Valuable Player of his high school baseball team in both his junior and senior years. Summerville said, “my gray hair always causes people to think that I am older than my true age. They are surprised that I can still run, jump and play sports.” Perhaps a friendly baseball game between faculty and students will be in store in the near future.

Please join us in welcoming Summerville, his wife Debbie, and their children to the Bryan College family. To learn more about Summerville’s experience, visit his faculty profile.


Faculty Friday: Alexis Landry

August 31, 2018 – Bryan College welcomes Alexis Landry as the new instructor of Performing Arts on the residential campus. Landry graduated from Bryan College in 2013 and earned two bachelor’s degrees in theatre and piano performance. Following her graduation from Bryan, Landry earned her master’s degree in theatre from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.

Landry’s experience as a student at Bryan, specifically studying under the previous theatre professor, Mr. Bernard Belisle, influenced her decision to work in a college setting. “Mr. Belisle showed me the immense value of being able to mentor, direct and teach college students who already have an interest in theatre and want to pursue it more diligently,” said Landry. “My college professors at Bryan were among the most influential in my life, and I hope to be the same one day for my students.”

Landry’s passion for her field began with her time at Bryan. Her desire to share that passion with current and future Bryan students is clear. “I believe theatre is an important and influential part of our culture in today’s world,” said Landry. “We can use it not only to entertain, but to affect change and impact society. Having the opportunity to train and shape future artists to use their craft, and their Christian faith, in meaningful and innovative ways is definitely something I’m passionate about. Not to mention I get to do it in the very same place where I grew as an artist and performer.”

The decision to return to Bryan College to teach was an easy one for Landry. “I think it is so important for Bryan alumni to have the opportunity to give back and to show current students how much a Bryan education can do for them and their futures,” said Landry. “I learned so much here, and it’s beyond exciting to continue the legacy that I experienced as a student.”

This summer, Landry returned to the Dayton area with a bang. She took on one of the most popular theatre projects in the area. During the annual Scopes Festival, Landry served as the director for Front Page News, a play about the infamous Scopes Trial.

Landry is originally from Appomattox, Va., and she is excited to return to her second home in Dayton, Tenn. Some interesting facts about Landry include that she is left handed, and her favorite animal is much more exotic than a cat or dog. The llama holds a special place in her heart.

Please join us in welcoming Landry to the Bryan College family. To learn more about Alexis Landry’s experience, visit her faculty profile.


Faculty Friday: Meet Dr. Thomas Marshall

August 24, 2018 – Bryan College welcomes Dr. Thomas Marshall, the new dean of engineering, along with the first class of students to the new Vogel School of Engineering. Dr. Marshall comes to Bryan College from an extensive background in industry, academics, and mission most recently serving on the mission field in Central America.  He received his bachelor of science degree in biological engineering from The Ohio State University, master of science in civil engineering from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and his doctorate in environmental engineering from Oregon Graduate Institute. Dr. Marshall later obtained his master’s of divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.  

Dr. Marshall has worked as a tentmaker serving as a church planter, pastor, worship leader and missionary while working as an engineer. Dr. Marshall is a registered professional engineer having engineered over $1 billion worth of water and energy related infrastructure projects around the world, most recently running his own engineering and construction company.  One of Marshall’s most interesting projects was working with the Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board as an engineer in Nepal. The project was part of earthquake relief efforts and was leveraged to take the Gospel up into the Himalayan Mountains.

Dr. Marshall is the Director of the Engineering the Great Commission Center and has a passion for missional engineering, which he defines as “leveraging the marketplace discipline of engineering to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.”  He see teaching in higher education as a ministry calling to equip the next generation with a Biblically grounded engineering education to carry out the Great Commission. He is thankful the Lord has led him to and his family to Bryan College, and we are excited for him to lead the engineering program.

Dr. Tom and his wife Sue own and operate a farm and mission center in Mt. Liberty, Ohio and are in the process of relocating to Dayton. They have five daughters. Three are married and two, Hannah and Leah, still live at home. If you see Dr. Tom around campus, you might want to ask him for a music lesson. One of the most interesting facts about him is that he use to be a professional lead guitarist for an Indie band.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Marshall and his family to the Bryan College family. To learn more about Thomas Marshall’s experience, visit his faculty profile.


Faculty Friday: Meet Lynn Russell

Bryan College welcomes Lynn Russell as the new instructor of English on the residential campus. Russell graduated from Bryan College in 2016 with bachelor degrees in English Literature and Music: Piano Pedagogy. Following her graduation from Bryan, Russell earned a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of South Florida.

Russell enjoys the intellectual conversations and rigors of teaching in a college setting. Her desire to work at Bryan College is rooted in the ability to be open about her beliefs in the classroom. The Bryan College community’s inclusion of family and support for one another also drew her to return to Bryan and invest in the lives of students.

In 2017, Russell worked on a research team at the University of South Florida that datamined 17,000 college freshman essays, drawing conclusions about how student vocabulary, syntax, analysis etc. affect student grades, improvement, and college success. She also helped code the university’s online writing program where professors can now compare first and second drafts of papers to give a percentage of how much (or how little) a student had changed from each draft revision. In addition to this work, Russell also was the project leader on grade norming in the 2017-2018 school year.

Russell will soon have a chapter published by the esteemed Edinburgh Press, considered one of the leading university presses in the UK. This chapter on John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress argues for a historic reading of the novel because Bunyan’s fantasy world is the literal road of England, including its Great North Road, fair systems, toll gates, and failed bog systems. She argues for this historical reading because it brings further allegory and Bunyan’s own commentary of Early Modern politics and religion.

Russell is originally from Sarasota, Fla. and recently relocated to Dayton, Tenn. after her marriage to her husband, Chad, on June 2, 2018. She is most excited about teaching Introduction to Literature this fall. One of the most interesting facts about Russell is that she has tent camped across the country from Florida to California. When asked who she would want to take a trip around the world with she responded, “My husband because I love him”.

Please join us in welcoming Russell to the Bryan College family. To learn more about Lynn Russell’s experience, visit her faculty profile.


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